Massey University signs up for work-integrated education


Professor Giselle Byrnes

Massey University has signed the first Global Charter for Co-op and Work-Integrated Education.

The charter formalises a commitment to increase the number and quality of partnerships between students, industries and universities around the world.

The University was one of 50 signatories and, along with the University of Waikato, one of two New Zealand universities to sign the agreement at the World Association of Co-operative Education conference, hosted by the University of Cincinnati, United States, this month. Massey Provost Professor Giselle Byrnes attended on behalf of Vice-Chancellor Professor Jan Thomas.

Professor Byrnes says engaging with employer partners to provide students access to international work-based experiences universities will more effectively prepare them for productive and rewarding employment anywhere in the world.

“Massey’s strategic goals focus around further advancing our efforts to provide students with ‘real world’ learning opportunities,” Professor Byrnes says. “The focus of the charter and the values resonate strongly with Massey. In the strategy we committed to producing world-ready graduates with entrepreneurial acumen and capability, who create jobs for others and are committed to making a better world.”

Charter organisations agree to answer three calls to action:

  • Create a significant number of new opportunities for students of charter supporters to obtain meaningful, international, work-integrated experiences, with a focus on scaling up;

  • Develop and deliver educational offerings specifically designed to enhance student intercultural fluency and resilience with focus on equity, diversity and inclusion;

  • Facilitate conversations between higher education and business to determine what constitutes “global work readiness”, and embedding these attributes in a global quality assurance framework.

New Zealand research around Work-Integrated Learning has strong international credibility and in particular, through key individuals such as Massey’s Professor Andy Martin, Professor Richard Coll (formerly of the University of Waikato and now Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic at the University of the South Pacific, Fiji) and Waikato’s Dr Karsten Zegwaard.

“Massey is seen, at this international level, as a research-led institution strongly committed to work-integrated learning in a number of forms such as internships and professional placements,” Professor Byrnes says. “The visibility achieved for Massey at this conference will prove its value as we now have a consortium of partners, many of whom are advancing best practice work-integrated learning and co-op.”

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